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Tanya Tandoc: Want Something New And Fresh? Try Ceviche!

powerplantop / Flickr / Creative Commons

For those of us who adore fresh fish, ceviche is one of the best ways to eat it.

Ceviche is a preparation of fish and/or other seafood that is marinated in citrus juices and flavored with herbs and spices. The citrus juice denatures the delicate proteins in the fish, changing the textures from soft to firm. The acid doesn’t actually cook the fish, but it preserves the flavor of the ingredients while giving the seafood a bouncy mouth feel.

I love it. I really love it when combined with lime juice, cilantro, chile peppers and red onion.

Ceviche is a dish that is South American in origin. Most Latin American countries have their versions of it, with regional variations. My favorite kinds include a mixture of white fish, shrimp, scallops and lime juice. The sweetness of the seafood, mixed with the acid lime and salty brine of the marinade make ceviche reminiscent of a margarita. It is said that the marinade itself is an aphrodisiac.

Credit Tanya Tandoc / KMUW
Ceviche at Taste and See

Wichita’s Taste and See makes a delicious interpretation of this dish. They make it with sparkly fresh shrimp and bay scallops, lime juice, cilantro, Serrano or habanero peppers, and tiny chunks of sweet potato and shreds of onion. It’s served with crunchy fried plantain chips, and it is balanced, spicy and bracing.

I also love the way Newport Grill makes their ceviche. They vary the fish daily, choosing what is freshest, each time creating a new taste experience. The last time I ate there, they used mahi-mahi, lemon and lime juice, sriracha sauce and arugula. Every bite was refreshing and unique.

So, if you want to try something new and fresh, but aren’t really ready for sashimi or raw oysters, you can experiment with ceviche.